Little Robert Harry Darling’s
mother, Anna/Hanna, died in 1913. He was only five years old at the time.
Apparently, his father, a railroad man, was either too transient or too ill to
take care of Robert and his six-year-old sister, Elizabeth Grace Darling as the
two of them went to live with their grandmother, Margaret Mary (Lamb)
It appears that Margaret and
her husband Peter were estranged. She was living at 1142 Bellaire Ave.,
Brookline (Pittsburgh) and Peter was rooming at 2237 Salisberry Street. (Some
years later Peter would return to England alone.) Therefore, in April 1915, it
appears that Robert was living, along with his sister, with his grandmother in Brookline
The “unsinkable” Titanic had
sunk only a few years earlier and by the spring of 1915, the Great War (World
War I) was well underway with German wolf packs sinking English vessels. On May
7, German U-Boats sank the RMS Lusitania as she neared Liverpool coming from
City of New York renamed S.S. New York
Photo Courtesy: Wikipedia
We think there was a death in
the family, probably Margaret’s mother, Jane Lamb, had passed and that there
needed to be actions regarding the family business, an inn in the Appleby-in-Westmorland
area in Cambria, England. In any event, Margaret took the children to England
aboard the S.S. New York leaving New York City and arriving in Liverpool,
England on August 29, 1915.
Time in England had to have
been stressful for Margaret taking care of the estate. However, family stories
indicate that the time was good for the kids though, as they should be. Margaret
made sure they attended school and were “civilized” in English ways. Margaret
was Anglican, so they certainly would have attended Anglican Church while in
England. Possibly, even St. John’s Church in Workington, where Margaret and
Peter had been married many years before.
USS Yale – Renamed SS Philadelphia
Photo Courtesy: Wikipedia – See Alt Text for details
Margaret and the children
stayed in England for about sixteen months returning to the United States
sailing from Liverpool on December 15, 1916, aboard the S.S. Philadelphia, and
arriving at New York City on December 23, 1916.
Any hopes that Robert may
have had regarding being with his father would have been dashed when his
father, Rufus Harry Darling, died in June 1917.
It is often said that when you do research it is imperative that you obtain the actual record and not rely solely upon indexes. Margaret Mary Lamb McAllister is an example of that. I thought I know Margaret’s death. Right name, right place, about the right year, even the right cemetery, or so it appeared. However, when I ordered an actual death certificate I was surprised. Not the right Margaret McAllister. Back to the drawing board to find the right Margaret McAllister’s death information.
Bio – Margaret Mary Lamb (1860-c.1927)
Margaret Mary Lamb was born in April of 1860, in Appleby-in-Westmorland, Cumbria, England, to Edward and Jane Lamb (or Lambe). Appleby-in-Westmorland is near the Lake District National Park in northern England.
Margaret’s father died when she was young. We don’t know if the family moved to Egremont, Cumbria, England, before or after Edward died. However, we do know that according to the 1871 England Census, her mother was widowed and running a beer house in Egremont . She also had an older sister, also named Jane, who lived with them at the beerhouse. They had a sixteen-year-old domestic servant, Elizabeth Wardle, living with them as well.
St. Michael’s Church in Workington before fire.
Margaret moved up the coast to Maryport and was living there when she married Peter McAllister on 22 August 1878. At the Parish (St. Michael’s) Church in Workington.
Margaret was 18 and Peter was a 26 year-old seaman living in Workington.
The following year, 1879, their first child, Frank, was born. On March 21, 1881, their second child, Elizabeth was born and the young family was living in Workington on High Church Street.
The following year, 1882, their second son, Edward Lamb McAllister was born in Cockermouth. Cockermouth is about 7 miles east of Workington and is where Peter was born. Peter may have had family there when Margaret gave birth or they may have lived there a short time.
In 1884, Hannah was born and the family was back in Workington, living at 8 Lamport Street.
In June of 1885, Margaret’s husband Peter headed for America and left Margaret in England. In June the following year, Sargaret headed to America with her four children, Frank, Elizabeth, Edward, and Hannah, aboard the steamship The British King, which arrived at Philadelphia. She and the children joined Peter in Catasauqua, Lehigh, Pennsylvania.
1887 was a year of both joy and tragedy. In March, their fifth child, John William, was born, but in May their oldest son, Frank, who was only eight-years old, drowned in the Lehigh Canal.
In 1889, their last child, Joseph M. McAllister was born in Catasauqua.
House that Peter built at corner of Vine and Cologne “Vine” was changed to “Berg” and house was numbered 2800 Berg Photo Courtesy: Google Maps.
The family moved to Pittsburgh sometime in 1890 as evidenced by Peter taking out a building permit for a 16×32 two-story house at corner of Vine & Cologne in Pittsburgh.
Pittsburgh in the early 1890 was a tumultuous time in the steel industry with labor-management clashes regularly. Margaret’s husband, Peter, was in the thick of it, being arrested at the Homestead Steel Plant on 2 September 1892.
On 24 February 1894, Margaret’s husband, Peter, became a citizen of the United States. Due to naturalization laws, when Peter became a citizen, so did Margaret. Vine Street was renamed Berg Street and the family lived there, 2800 Berg Street, which is at the corner of Berg and Cologne. The house that Peter built stands today.
The family moved over to Patterson Street sometime between 1894 and 1900.
In 1905, Margaret’s daughter Hannah took up with an older man, Rufus Darling, who was more than twice Hannah’s age. Hannah was 21 and Rufus was 48. In March of 1906, Hannah had her first child, Elizabeth. In December of 1906, she got pregnant again. This time Rufus made an honest woman of her and in February, 1907, Hannah and Rufus were married. In August of 1907, their second child, Robert Harry Darling, was born.
About 1906, son Edward Lamb McAllister married Violet Yellig. They had three children, Edward L., Albert W., and Paul Y. Violet died in October of 1910. And Edward married Therisa Bauckmann. Therisa died in November, 1924 of a cerebral hemorrhage and stroke. The following year, 1925, Edward was murdered in Savannah, GA.
In 1909, their oldest daughter, Elizabeth, married Harold Lane. They would go on to have three children, James Allen, Frank C., and Katherine Lane.
Family oral history indicates that Margaret sided with Hannah during the events between Hannah and Rufus, while Peter was aghast at the idea of his youngest daughter taking up with a man nearly as old as he was. It is clear that Margaret and Peter were estranged before 1910. The 1910 census indicates Margaret living in the Berg Street house with son Joseph, daughter Elizabeth and Elizabeth’s husband Harold Land and Elizabeth’s son James. I haven’t been able to find Peter in the 1910 Census; however, in 1914 he is living at 2237 Salisbury in Pittsburgh.
On 13 July 1913, tragedy struck again and daughter Hannah died of “pelvic peritonitis due to a ruptured ovarian cyst.“ Hannah’s two young children, Elizabeth and Robert, came to live with their grandmother, Margaret, rather then with their father, Rufus.
About the same time, in 1913, Margaret’s youngest son, Joseph, married Myrtle (last name unknown). They would go on to have four children, Margaret, Jack, Lewis, and Elizabetha.
View of Downtown Pittsburgh Today from
411 Arlington Ave.
Courtesy: Google Maps
The 1920 Census finds the 59 year-old Margaret living at 411 Arlington Ave. Interestingly, she is listed as Widowed, although her husband Peter was living cross town at 2237 Salisberry Street. Peter would get a passport in 1921 and return to England, apparently never to return. Living with Margaret was her 13 year-old granddaughter, Elizabeth, and her 12 year-old grandson, Robert Harry Darling. Also living with Margaret was her son John, John’s wife Emma, and their two daughters, Lillian and Helen. Today, 411 Arlington Ave. is a vacant lot on the side of a very steep hill, but has a great view.
Margaret is mentioned as being alive when her son, Edward Lamb McAllister, was murdered January, 1925, in Georgia; however, I have found no mention of her after that.
There was a Margaret McAllister, who was also born in England and who died in Pittsburgh on 27 Mar 1929. For a while I thought this was my Margaret McAllister’s death date; however, when I ordered and received a copy of the death certificate, I found that it was a different Margaret McAllister, this one was married to a John McAllister and the informant didn’t fit our McAllister family. So, this is one of those cases where I thought I had valid information but once the actual document was received I knew it was wrong.
Continue search for Margaret McAllister’s death and burial. Because she owned the property at 411 Arlington, there should be records of that property transfer and possibly probate records.
Follow other descendants of Margaret McAllister and connect with cousins.
PETER MCALLISTER was born on 12 Feb 1852 in Workington, Cumberland, England. He died in 1941 (The death index indicates he passed in Jan/Feb/Mar of 1941) in Cockermouth, Cumbria, England. He married (1) MARGARET MARY LAMB, daughter of Edward and Jane Lambe on 22 Aug 1878 in Workington, Cumberland, England. She was born in Apr 1860 in Appleby-in-Westmorland, Cambria, England (St. Marys, Cumberland, England). He married (2) UNKNOWN after 1921 in England.
Saint Michaels Church before the fire.
Peter McAllister was baptized on 12 Mar 1852 into the Church of England at Saint Michaels Church in Workington, Cumberland, England. Nothing is known about his childhood or early years. It is assumed that he grew up in Workington.
In 1878, Peter was working as a seaman out of Workington, England, and he married Margaret Mary Lambe. In 1879, the couple was blessed by the birth of their first child, Frank. In 1881, Peter was working as an “Engineerman,” which is a person who was in charge of a large engine. The engine type could have been most anything. Possibly he would have been an engineerman (engineman today) on a ship while a seaman. He identified himself as an engeerman in the 1881 census while they lived at 5 High Church Street in Workington. His first daughter, Elizabeth, was born in March, 1881 and his second son, Edward, in May, 1882. In August of 1884, his second daughter, Hannah was born.
In 1885 the family immigrated to the United States. It appears that he preceded the rest of the family because Margaret arrived with the children but Peter wasn’t on the ship. The family settled in Catasauqua, Lehigh County, Pennsylvania, which is where their third son, John William McAllister was born in 1887 and their last child, Joseph M. was born in 1889.
2800 Berg Street Today
The house Peter built in 1890 at the corner of
Vine & Cologne (now Berg & Cologne) Courtesy Google Maps
In 1890 the family relocated to Pittsburgh and in November Peter took out a building permit to build a house at the corner of Vine (now Berg) and Cologne. A 16×32, two story with basement house for $1,200.
Homestead Strike & Riot
The 1890s were an extremely volatile time in Pittsburgh. Back in 1876, the Amalgamated Association of Iron and Steel Workers (AA) union was formed. After winning several strike confrontations with steel plant owners during the 1980s the union, the union decided to strike against the Homestead Steel Mill. In 1892, plant manager Henry Clay Frick wanted to break the union. On June 30th, he locked out the union employees and the union decided to strike back by closing the plant with their pickets. The AA would not allow the plant to be opened with nonunion employees.
On July 6th there was a huge confrontation between 300 Pinkerton detectives, hired by the mill and hundreds of strikers. By the end of the day, many had been killed on both sides and another couple dozen injured. At the union’s demand and the city’s agreement, the Pinkertons were arrested and to be tried for murder and other crimes. The city then reneged on that agreement; the Pinkertons were released which outraged the strikers.
Troops Arrive in Homestead
Harper’s Weekly, July 23, 1892
From wood engraving by T. de Thulstrup
Thanks to US Library of Congress
On July 12th, 4000 state militia arrived and took the plant from the strikers. On the 15th the mill opened again with new, strike breaking employees. Because many of the new employees were black, a race war broke out inside the plant while union employees who were trying to stop the opening of the plant were bayonetted by the troops. On July 18th the town was put under martial law. On July 23rd, an anarchist attempted to assassinate Frick. Throughout July and August there were continued skirmishes and legal battles. One judge issued treason charges against the Union’s Advisory Committee for “making itself the law.”
This was the backdrop for September 2nd, when Peter McAllister was arrested for rioting. We don’t know if he was working at the Homestead Steel Mill at the time or if he was just a supporter. His being “locked out” suggests that he was an employee at that time. We do know that he worked as an engineman on the Rolling Mill Crew at Jones & Laughlin Steel Corp a few years later. In either event, Homestead would have been a fairly quick six-mile train ride from where he lived. We do know that he made bail, and renewed his bail several months later. It appears that eventually the charges were dropped on both sides.
Rolling Mill Crew – Jones & Laughlin Steel Corporation – 1906
Peter was a member of the Rolling Mill Crew in 1906. He may be pictured in the photo
Courtesy Senator John Heinz History Center, Jones and Laughlin Steel Corporation Collection
In 1894 Peter became a United States Citizen.
In 1900 Peter was living on Patterson Street with his wife, both daughters and his three younger sons. He went to Europe at some unknown date and returned to the States in June 1905.
In 1906 his daughter Hannah gave birth, out of wedlock, to a girl, which was fathered by a man 27 years older than Hannah, who was only 21 at the time. After Hannah became pregnant a second time by the same older man, he finally married her in 1907, giving both the children his name. Hannah and her father were estranged after that.
1921 Passport Photo
Thanks to Ancestry.Com
Peter returns to England
In June, 1921, Peter received a US Passport. He was 69 years old, 5′ 5″ tall. He had grey eyes, grey hair, mustache, high forehead, large nose, heavy chin, fair complexion, oblong face. His passport contains the only known photograph of Peter McAllister. His passport application indicated that his intent was only to visit England. However, he left in July, 1921 and never returned to the states.
It is believed that he married his housekeeper in England.
He died sometime during the first three months (January-March) of 1941 at the age of 88.
Peter McAllister and Margaret Mary Lamb had the following children:
FRANK MC ALLISTER was born in 1879 in Workington, Cumberland, England.
ELIZABETH MCALLISTER was born in Mar 1881 in Workington, Cumberland, England. She died on 02 Jan 1944. She married Harold Lane, son of <No name> and <No name> on 06 Jul 1909. He was born on 19 Nov 1880 in England. He died before 26 May 1943.
EDWARD LAMB MCALLISTER was born on 23 May 1882 in Cockermouth, Cumberland, United Kingdom (Scotland, England). He died on 12 Jan 1925 in Savannah, Chatham, Georgia, USA (Cause of death: Murder / Hatchet to head.). He married VIOLET YELLIG. She was born in 1889 in Pennsylvania. She died on 04 Oct 1910 in Pittsburgh, Allegheny, Pennsylvania, USA. He married (2) THERISA BAUCKMANN, daughter of William Bauckmann and Elinor Bowers before Sep 1918 in Pittsburgh, Allegheny, Pennsylvania, USA. She was born on 20 Aug 1891 in Pittsburgh, Allegheny, Pennsylvania, USA. She died on 17 Nov 1924 in Savannah, Chatham, Georgia, USA (Died of a cerebral hemorrhage, stroke).
HANNAH MCALLISTER was born on 15 Aug 1884 in England. She died on 11 Jul 1913 in Pittsburgh, Allegheny, Pennsylvania, USA (Died of pelvic peritonitis due to a ruptured ovarian cyst.). She married (1) RUFUS HARRY DARLING, son of Rufus Holton Darling and Elizabeth Jane Swayze on 16 Feb 1907 in Kittanning, Armstrong, Pennsylvania, USA. He was born on 30 Jun 1857 in Michigan (Age 3). He died on 05 Jun 1917 in Kalamazoo, Kalamazoo, Michigan, USA. She married THOMAS R WHITE. He was born on 13 Sep 1868. He died on 06 Sep 1945 in Pittsburgh, Allegheny, Pennsylvania, USA (Interned at Chartiers Cemetery).
JOHN WILLIAM MCALISTER was born on 28 Mar 1887 in Lehigh, Pennsylvania, USA. He married EMMA M [MCALLISTER]. She was born about 1889 in Pennsylvania, USA.
6. vi. JOSEPH M. MCALLISTER was born on 25 Sep 1889 in Catasauqua, Lehigh, Pennsylvania, USA. He died in Oct 1962. He married Myrtle (McAllister) before 1917 (After 1910). She was born about 1893 in Pennsylvania, USA.
It is very cool when you find an ancestor was a part of a major event in American history. The Homestead Strike and Riot was one of the most significant events in labor history and Peter was there, being arrested with the best of them.
I commend Peter McAllister, my wife’s 2nd great-grandfather and I urge everyone to remember him and his struggles today, Feb 12, 2014, the 162nd anniversary of his birth. I’ll think of him on Labor Day too.